With Hidden Noise, 1916, 3rd version 1964
ball of twine (containing small unknown object) pressed between two brass plates joined by four long bolts, with inscription in white oil paint
11.5 x 13 x 13 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 29942)
© Estate of Marcel Duchamp / ADAGP / SODRAC
The Surrealist notion of the chance encounter of objects is anticipated in this assisted readymade. Duchamp explained the title as follows: "Such is the title of this "assisted readymade": a ball of string between two brass plates, held together by four long bolts. Inside the ball of string Walter Arensberg secretly added a small object that makes a noise when it is shaken. And to this day I have no more idea what it is than anyone else."